“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Rumsfeld's Hell in the Garden of Good and Evil, Washington, DC.

Last night, NPR featured a story on Donald Rumsfeld’s last day at the Pentagon. It was about his emotional farewell speech to employees. Rumsfeld said that the worst day of his nearly six years as secretary of defense occurred when he learned of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse, but something far more sinister caught my attention.

There was mention of Rumsfeld meeting with his lawyers regarding his possibly being involved with litigation over some of his decisions. Possibly? With a Democratic Congress, possibly?

Rumsfeld’s worse days are ahead of him. His hell will soon begin and be worse than Abu Ghraib. Washington will do what Washington does best. Slime. It will show its true and hideous side. It reminded me of someone else twenty years ago.

On the upper hillsides that make Georgetown is an academic research facility, library and museum owned by Harvard University. It is also an exceptional arboretum and named Dumbarton Oaks. It is located across the street from the Danish Embassy. I had business at the embassy and a later appointment in Georgetown. After my embassy visit, I crossed the street to enter Dumbarton Oaks. It was early and I had some time to relax and prepare for my next meeting. One of the many features to the park is an impressive and extensive rose garden. The early Washington summer had not yet diminished the roses, but they were slightly off blush. I found a bench in the shade to review my notes.

I opened my “Day Timer”, a pre-technology personal analog calendar book bound in pigskin, an address book. Under the “O” was a name that had seven phone numbers all scratched out and a new eighth that wasn’t. Robert Owen changed numbers often.

Although I had spoken with him on more than a few occasions, I did not know him to see him. We were to have lunch and I had some documents for him. He was now working out of a senator’s office. I had not heard of Senator Dan Quayle, but he was from Indiana and other than the “Indy 500”, you do not hear much about the place. However, I saw the connection. I finished my notes and left for the restaurant.

Owen was tall with sandy blondish hair, bookish with glasses. He was a pleasant, well-spoken and affable guy. I liked him. We had a drink, lunch, and discussed our mutual friend. I kidded him about his changing phone numbers so often and asked if he had trouble holding a job. He understood my humor. After more conversation, I chided him, “Just who do you work for?” he smiled and did not answer. That was the answer I expected.

Over the next few years I would have other meetings and calls with Owen. He was a decent and honorable man doing a necessary job. In the true garden of evil, Washington DC, it is not enough to do a good job. Owen would pay for the decision to do public service and face financial ruin protecting himself. He would face Senator John Kerry.

I was to get an education about viciousness and the evil of Washington, DC and the real slime behind the beautiful buildings and majestic monuments. I would get a peak at the personal hell that public service can bring to the lives of decent men doing their job. Rob Owen was like a lot of good men who to do what we ask of them, our dirty work. Had we a crystal ball in that Georgetown Restaurant we could have seen a glimpse at Rob Owen’s future:

Robert Owen. 's deposition from Iran-Contra Committee

OWEN. I just assume that he did. I think at one time he did say that he talked to his friend at DEA. Drugs was a concern because of what we talked about earlier with Hull, because of the poor reflection it would have on the resistance.
My notes or my memos to him talked about narcotics and he was concerned about it, again because of the image problem and because it did damage.

Q. In your contracts with John Hull and with contra leaders, including Calero, what was their attitude about these stories about drug trafficking?

OWEN. When I talked to Calero about it, he was concerned. He thought it was bad for the image, bad for the program. Hull was constantly being targeted, certainly in the Honey and Avirgan suit that he was involved in narcotics trafficking. and Renee Corvo and others were involved. As I stated earlier in the four years that I have known John Hull, I would find it hard to believe that he was or is involved in narcotics.

Q. Did you meet with Eden Pastora?

OWEN. On four or five occasions.

Q. Did you know Carol Prado?

OWEN. Yes. In one of my memos, I said I was concerned that he was involved in drug trafficking out of Panama.

Q. Marcos Aguado?

OWEN. He was Pastora's pilot. There was concern about

Q. After [INFORMATION BLACKED OUT] April 1984, what happened to Pastora's planes and equipment?

OWEN. A couple of the ended up going eventually to the FDN. He had one or two -- I think there was one that crashed on the Pacific Coast, another was flown into a mountain taking off [INFORMATION BLACKED OUT] with one of his former pilots.

Q. Do you know of any support that Pastora and his group was receiving from the United States Government via CIA or North or Hull [INFORMATION BLACKED OUT].

OWEN. No. There was a conscientious decision not to support Eden Pastora.

Q. Have you heard of Gerardo Duran?

OWEN. I think he may have been involved in narcotics trafficking, but I don't know where that comes from. I may be slandering the man.


OWEN. I have heard the name. And I right now can’t remember in what context.

Q. He is a Cuban-American from Miami -- does
that refresh your recollection?

OWEN. I don't know whether it was [INFORMATION BLACKED OUT] --there is another name, and I don't know whether it is the same that was involved in the Cuban movement against Castro and …

You get the picture. Good men get smeared by the illegal actions of a few bad actors. Political opportunists will destroy and ruin any and all to make their own careers. Save a little sympathy for Donald Rumsfeld, and other good men for the hell they will face. Look to see the pathetic hideous Kerry once again trying to gain attention in his quest to be President. It will be another day in the Washington garden of good and evil.


  1. Should get RWE to come over and contribute.
    Son is getting sent there for a week again:
    Any advice on how/where to spend his spare time?

  2. Kevin's Heaven on Earth:
    Alas, Poor Yorick, I Knew Him Well!
    The Brussels Journal makes the astounding claim that the "most popular name for newborn boys in Brussels, the 'capital of Europe,' in 2005 [is]
    Mohamed, followed by Adam, Ayoub, Rayan and Mehdi".
    Naturally reading claims like that forces a double-take, but following the link to the Belgian statistics page shows he is quite right. Yasmine, Aya and Rania aren't doing too badly in the girls department either.
    Nieuwsflits n°79 Overzicht van de populairste voornamen van baby's in 2005
    Read more! posted by wretchard

  3. Coastguard FUBAR

    “This is the fleecing of America,” said Anthony D’Armiento, a systems engineer who has worked for Northrop and the Coast Guard on the project. “It is the worst contract arrangement I’ve seen in all my 20 plus years in naval engineering.”

  4. Too bad our weapons usually must remain holstered.
    "The key improvement over the A-variant is the AN/APG-78 Longbow dome installed over the main rotor which houses a millimeter-wave Fire Control Radar (FCR) target acquisition system.
    The elevated position of the radome allows detection and (arcing) missile engagement of targets even when the helicopter itself is concealed by an obstacle (e.g. terrain, trees or buildings).

    Further, a radio modem integrated with the sensor suite allows a D-variant Apache to share targeting data with other AH-64Ds that do not have a line-of-sight to the target.

    In this manner a group of Apaches can engage multiple targets but only reveal the radome of one D-variant Apache.

  5. Just ask Saint Jimmah, Whit:
    Ambassador Dennis Ross, a former Mideast envoy and FOX News foreign affairs analyst, claims maps commissioned and published by him were improperly republished in Carter's book.
    "I think there should be a correction and an attribution," Ross said. "These were maps that never existed, I created them."
    After Ross saw the maps in Carter's book, he told his publisher he wanted a correction.
    When asked if the former president ripped him off, Ross replied: “it sure looks that way.”
    Er, if stealing maps counts as plagiarism, anyway. More here. (Via Gateway Pundit ).

  6. Whit said, "Washington could get especially uncomfortable for the Bush administration. Fortunately, the Democrats must tread lightly for the next two years or risk a backlash at the polls."

    On the contrary, the impeachment trial of Clinton was in 1999, yet there was no fatal backlash against the GOP, they retained the House and Senate (until the defection of Jumpin' Jim Jeffords in May 2001) and the White House went to Bush in 2000. The antics of the left and right fringe are irrelevant. The only thing that matters is whether the American people think it's time for a change.

  7. Could Jimmah be C-4?

    "For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices...

    With some degree of reluctance and some uncertainty about the reception my book would receive, I used maps, text and documents to describe the situation accurately and to analyze the only possible path to peace: Israelis and Palestinians living side by side within their own internationally recognized boundaries.

    ...I've signed books in five stores, with more than 1,000 buyers at each site. I've had one negative remark — that I should be tried for treason — and one caller on C-SPAN said that I was an anti-Semite...

  8. Correction:
    Still BLOWING Strong.

  9. 2164,
    I can relate to Mr. Owens troubles. After Watergate came the great House and Senate investigations, ruiing many great and good men.
    Up to those days the CIA was rarely in the news. Then one day a company wide memo went out from the DCI's legal office stating the if you had ever done anything illegal "in light of todays congressional investigations" go get you own attorney because we can't help you. We can't even provide you with your own records.

    Well that memo changed the agency overnight. All the old OSS hands retired and when Jimma and Stansfield arrived with their wrecking ball alot more of us bailed. The risks were enormous enough without your own government coming after you.
    But the years before that all happened were some of the best of my young life.

  10. Doug, your 7:38..

    That ain't no Gnome you're right on that. That be a gen-u-ine peanut pecker asshole.

  11. Well look at this:

    Judge considers torture claim against Rumsfeld
    Associated Press
    WASHINGTON - A federal judge on Friday appeared reluctant to give Donald H. Rumsfeld immunity from torture allegations, yet said it would be unprecedented to let the departing defense secretary face a civil trial.

    "What you're asking for has never been done before," U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan told lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union.

    The group is suing on behalf of nine former prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. The lawsuit contends the men were beaten, suspended upside down from the ceiling by chains, urinated on, shocked, sexually humiliated, burned, locked inside boxes and subjected to mock executions."

    Now if Bush had the stones on Friday morning, he would walk from his office and anounce to the press that he is going to issue a Presidential Pardon, not because Rumsfelf did anything wrong, but to spare him and his family the torture of endless litigation, and if anyone does not like that, tough.

  12. The lawsuit contends the men were beaten, suspended upside down from the ceiling by chains, urinated on, shocked, sexually humiliated, burned, locked inside boxes and subjected to mock executions

    Bondage? Not even any discipline?

    Where is the torture? Like knives, blowtorches, hot pincers, drills, nails pulled, teeth smashed, bones broken, eyes gouged, ears severed, balls busted, joints popped, appendages amputated, spiders, snakes, rats, wild horses, impalement, disembowelment, crucifiction, racking, thumbscrews, iron boots, hot irons, staking naked to ants nests in the midday sun?

  13. Fellow peacekeeper said, "Where is the torture? Like knives, blowtorches, hot pincers, drills, nails pulled, teeth smashed, bones broken, eyes gouged, ears severed, balls busted, joints popped, appendages amputated, spiders, snakes, rats, wild horses, impalement, disembowelment, crucifiction, racking, thumbscrews, iron boots, hot irons, staking naked to ants nests in the midday sun?"

    Not to mention having your eyelids propped open like Alex in "A Clockwork Orange" and being forced to watch Jerry Springer while listening to Ashlee Simpson "sing". Remember, whips don't torture people, people torture people.

  14. The hills are alive,
    with the Sound of Music.

    Mr Rumsfeld will do just fine, he can hold his own against Mr Kerry and Co. If he runs into trouble, more than likely Steve Forbes will hire him to be Publisher of the magazine, Cap the Knife can retire, his legal problems now resolved.

    Grab your coat and get your hat, Leave your worries on the doorstep
    Just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street
    Hear that pitter pat, that's the happy sound of my feet.
    Life can be so sweet on the sunny side of the street

    I used to walk in the shade with those blues on parade
    Well I'm not afraid, this rover crossed over

    If I never never have a dime I'll be rich, rich as Mr Rockefeller
    Gold dust at my feet on the sunny side of the street.

  15. Not to mention having your eyelids propped open like Alex in "A Clockwork Orange" and being forced to watch Jerry Springer while listening to Ashlee Simpson "sing".

    I was going to mention something like that : being strapped over a bar stool in a disco bar in Belguim on a rainy Sunday while Grace Jones recordings are continuously played at 110 dB.

  16. Frying pans and fires, revisited

    By Robert Novak


    WASHINGTON -- Zalmay Khalilzad, who was announced this week as leaving as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, is the leading prospect to replace John Bolton as envoy to the United Nations.

    President Bush was reported by aides as looking for someone who approximates Bolton's combination of toughness and diplomatic skill and has tentatively decided on Khalilzad. A native of Afghanistan, he has served in government posts dating back to 1985 and is the highest-ranking Muslim in the Bush administration.

  17. ...highest-ranking Muslim in the Bush administration.

    That'll put the fear of God into the heathens.

  18. Trent Lott has thrown in with the McCain for President Team, while Rudy has scheduled a $2,100 per plate Fund Raiser in NYC.

    All according to Bob Novak, who was as wrong as I was on the 7 Nov predictions. Misjudging GOP weakness amongst the faithful, the Dems overshooting our percieved landing zone, by a bunch.

    It's all good, tough.
    On the Sunnyside of the Street.

  19. Even if they were to "buy it to burn it", rufus, to start.

    Great idea, it'll never get off the ground. Not in the box of approved solutions. To bad, really.

  20. NEW YORK (Reuters) - News Corp.'s Fox, Viacom Inc., CBS Corp.. and NBC Universal are in talks about creating a video Web site to compete with Google Inc.'s YouTube, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

  21. The "right" thinking is again on display
    "Clumsy Soviets, subtle Russia"
    over at Westhawk

    "... Mr. Putin has figured out a far more effective and sustainable method of achieving foreign policy victories over the West than his Soviet forefathers had. Forget the confrontational ideology and instead seduce the West with hydrocarbons and the promise of other lucre. Then watch the Westerners squirm when Russia blocks their foreign policy plans. ..."

  22. Desert Rat said, "Trent Lott has thrown in with the McCain for President Team, while Rudy has scheduled a $2,100 per plate Fund Raiser in NYC."

    As a fan of Greek tragedies, I can't wait to see John "Campaign Finance Reform" McCain bitching about Democrat 527's and 501(c)'s hurting him in the polls in the run-up to Nov 2008.

  23. From the report;

    “Our embassy of 1,000 (in Baghdad) has 33 Arabic speakers, just six of whom are at the level of fluency,’’it notes on P. 92. “In a conflict that demands effective and efficient communication with Iraqis, we are often at a disadvantage.’’

    We spend 400 billion and almost three thousand troops on a mission to a land that has a society that goes back six thousand years, a religion we do not understand and we are going to reshape them into what we think they ought to be. We set up an embassy with six people who are fluent in their language.

    I need a walk.

  24. US Government at it's best.
    Not the US at it's best, though.

    That is why the Federals are over tasked. Until they can handle the basics, as described in the Constitution, like defending the Borders, it is foolish to assume they could accomplish the Mission of transforming foreign cultures.

    They cannot even recruit language qualified staff for the immediate tasks at hand.

  25. 2164th wrote, "We spend 400 billion and almost three thousand troops on a mission to a land that has a society that goes back six thousand years, a religion we do not understand and we are going to reshape them into what we think they ought to be. We set up an embassy with six people who are fluent in their language."

    It was seven people, but one of them was a pooft.

  26. Onward, upward!

    for rufus, another alternative energy, even more harvestable than palm oil.

    Bringing Light to the Powerless
    Innovative microenterprise and credit strategies that allow villagers to purchase or lease small photovoltaic systems are changing lives in many developing countries.

    vs the European model
    Three main market development models for household PV systems in developing countries have been
    analysed: the greenfield project model, the system engineering houses model and the traders model. Although the
    traders model may have the best track record in serving end-users in developing countries, little is done to support and
    expand this model. The paper calls for a broader view on PV market development in developing countries, and for
    instruments to be developed to strengthen especially the free market for household PV products in developing
    countries. ...

  27. The largest population of Muslims outside of Muslim countries within a metropolitan area is Paris. Next it's Dearborn Michigan with over 100,000.
    I would be interesting to find out if the FBI,Army,Navy, or anyone has appealed to that population to step forward and translate the hundreds of thousands of pages still left unread. If so how many took the step?
    Has Congressman Conyers reached out to that community with an appeal for help? How many "moderate Arabs" have joined this translation effort in our time of need?
    Has Kareen Abdul Jabbar or Mohammad Ali made a PSA asking for help?
    No doubt it is one of the great untold stories of the thousands of Muslims living in this country who have steppped up and received no recognition. Damn MSM.

  28. "... find out if the FBI,Army,Navy, or anyone has appealed to that population to step forward and translate the hundreds of thousands of pages still left unread. If so how many took the step? ..."

    That is a blockbuster of a story, which ever way it plays.
    Government ineptitude if no recruiting drive exists. A telling subcultural citizen profile if one does.

  29. OK, so Mohammad Ali can't talk very well but he can talk, he can still hit the heavy bag, and do the shuffle. He can light Olympic flames.
    Maybe we could get him hooked up with Pat Sajak and Vanna White for a special letter turning, buy a vowel, show with a message to come to the aid of this country.

    Or Celebrity Jeapardy with Muslim catagories.
    "I'll take stoning to death for $200."

  30. DR,
    I know it was presented with sarcasm but I really would like to know. Where's 60 Minutes? Geraldo?Larry King interviewing Louis Farrakhan?

    "I'll take clitorectomies for $600"

  31. Here you go, habu.
    Go to the Federal Job bank,, and typer "translator"
    five opportunities present themselves to a prospective applicant.
    This one seems most applicable to the discussion.

    Intelligence Technician (CI/HUMINT)

    SALARY RANGE: 77,692.00 - 160,804.00 USD per year
    OPEN PERIOD: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 to Monday, April 30, 2007
    SERIES & GRADE: GG-0134-7/11 POSITION INFORMATION: Multiple Schedules - Temporary
    PROMOTION POTENTIAL: 8/9/10/11 DUTY LOCATIONS: many vacancies - OA - The Middle East
    US Citizens

    Challenge Yourself - Be an Army Civilian - Go Army!
    Civilian employees serve a vital role in supporting the Army mission. They provide the skills that are not readily available in the military, but crucial to support military operations. The Army integrates the talents and skills of its military and civilian members to form a Total Army.

    Changes to the Job Announcement: Salary below includes basic pay and additional compensation that MAY include 15-35% foreign post differential; 15-35% danger pay;substantial overtime, a recruitment bonus/step increase on reassignment, and/or advanced hiring salary for a TCS/TDY assignment. Base salary is $31,209 - $60,049.

    U.S. Central Command, Various Locations Within Afghanistan, Djibouti, Iraq, Kuwait, and Qatar

  32. The honest to Allah truth is that that is one hugely dysfunctional segment of the world's population.

    They are literally at war all over the globe with anyone who they identify as infidel. And that doesn't even cover their own internicine battles within Islam over whose prophet is the legit title we need a BCS or a true playoff system? How about "THE DUKEOUT AT DAR el SALAMM" Computer generated rematch with "Sunni Liston" vs Mohammad Ali for the belt.

    "I'll take slashing Danny Pearl's head off for $800"

  33. DR,
    When the Company tested me for language skill they came back and said I could get by in the northwest hills of Carolina if I ordered some type of fried critter..
    I only learned mas margaritas thru diligence and hard work at the Princess Hotel in Acapulco.

    "I'll take grandmother human bombs for $700"

  34. and DR look at those pathetic salaries for a vital job. No kidding street cleaners in San Fransisco make more than that.

    If they were serious they'd start at 100k and go up. You get what you pay for. In many cases Muslims who might do it know they are placing themselves and their families in tremendous jeopardy, and 30-40k is a non starter in my world.

  35. This guy here found himself in deep doo-doo with his fellows, in Tulsa no less, just for advocting non-violence.

  36. that was 'toonder' he had in his right hand.

  37. you betcha Buddy..we got plenty of trouble right her in River City.

    Trouble, oh we got trouble,
    Right here in River City!
    With a capital "T"
    That rhymes with "P"
    And that stands for Pool,
    That stands for pool.
    We've surely got trouble!
    Right here in River City,
    Right here!
    Gotta figger out a way
    To keep the young ones moral after school!
    Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble...

  38. Tulsa keeps coming up in odd places. Several diverse stateside bombers have had links back to there.

    Here's some much needed fight-back good news from Mexico (scroll to the Friday Dec 08 entry):

  39. A Federales bust up and one guy gets's a start.

    He's got to deal with the shadow presidente now ..cap his ass.

  40. Why can't we put all these immigrants who haven't assimilated into the mainstream on reservations? We've done it to the Indians.
    There are enclaves of totally unassimilated foreigners who have no intention of assimilateing.
    I say reservation there asses until they can read and write english, know our history, and can tell that you throw on third and long.

  41. That was a pretty big "signal" raid, tho. Oahaca had been *the* big center of the revolt, outside downtown Mexico City.

  42. Dr,
    I know. I just think the wheel will come back around one more time and whats old will be new.

    The line it is drawn
    The curse it is cast
    The slow one now
    Will later be fast
    As the present now
    Will later be past
    The order is
    Rapidly fadin'.
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin'.

  43. That they took down the local police, but left the radicals at the University alone, that's an indication of ...

  44. I know Buddy. The streets had been barricaded by revolutionaries who wanted, what more money , whatever..
    Not to worry though the North American Union will take care of our sovereignty for us and we can wear any of three different t shirts, maybe four.

  45. There's a 'thing' down there about students, rat--comes from a big student demo in 1968, where hundreds of students were shot up in a Kent State type incident--Kent State times many.

  46. Great oil news Rufus..maybe we can recoup some of our war investment.

    How do you give a burka clad woman a wedgie?

  47. Oh, I know, the Federales are prohibited from the Universities, by Law. They're going to obey it. At least for now. Another positive sign of the rule of law being followed.

  48. Speaking of Iraq's slow-building economy, Tommy Franks interview the other day, he was asked the 'mistakes' question, and said the unemployment factor was in his mind the thing we should've concentrated on. Guy always makes sense to me. Jeez, people gotta eat.

  49. Ollie North is in Ramadi again. That guy is something else--a trueheart--

  50. good backgrounder, from the arts & letters site. (snip)

    Latin American republics, Japan and Germany, former Soviet bloc lands, and tigers of Asia: many have chosen democracy. Why not the Arabs? The question still stands...

  51. Wikipedia, the worthless tool.


    Scroll down to second article.

  52. In defense of Wiki:
    Good to spread the word about the disinfo that it perpetrates, but by the same token, I think it serves a purpose re:
    NON Political issues, like technology, and so forth.

    ...wonder what they have to say about GLOBAL WARMING? :-)

  53. I wonder who'd whup who, bareknuckle, out of Rummy and ace reporter David Gregory?

  54. I think Rummy would start fast, going in low, bobbing and weaving, keeping his head moving side to side, and punching up. Think Joe Frazier.

    Gregory would backpedal straight to the ropes, freeze there, take a few liver shots that would bring his hands down, and then fall to probably a leaping left hook to the jaw.

    KO in less than a minute of round #1.

  55. Then, Rummy would give him the "Patton-in-the-Rhine" kiss-off, and this image would change the world, from a march into slavery to a triumph of the primacy of thought itself.

  56. David:
    "No Mas! Mummy! Mummy! No Mas! "

  57. At the post-fight press conference, Gregory, his face looking like a catcher's mitt full of genitals, would renounce his career once and for all, and retire to an disclosed location somewhere in the south of France.